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A group of people listening to a video presentation held by a blIf you’ve been using a PC for a while, you may be overwhelmed when making the switch from a PC to a Mac. From Word to Pages, PowerPoint to Keynote – Apple has created their own world of programs that mimic all of the programs you have been used to for quite a while. But are they really the same? And what do you do with all of the files that you have saved from your PC programs? Luckily, Apple has created programs that can still read all of the files you created in your Microsoft programs. Unfortunately, PCs cannot read files saved in Apple’s proprietary formats.

Let’s say you just created an important business presentation in Keynote, yet when you get to the office you have to present it via a PC. What do you do? Lucky for you, there’s a simple fix. Transitioning from Keynote to PowerPoint isn’t the smoothest transition in the world, but there are ways around it.

What’s Different?

If you’re new to Keynote, you may be wondering how much it differs from PowerPoint.

So How Do You View a Keynote File on a PC?

You’ve finally made the switch. Maybe you were tired of using a program that reminded you of high school group projects, or maybe you just wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Regardless, you’ve made a Keynote presentation, and now you’re faced with the problem of actually having to present it.

Let’s face it. When you need to make a public presentation, you rarely have the option of presenting from your own computer. Why is the dreaded presentation computer so often a PC that looks like it has been around since 1995? No one really knows the answer to this question, but there are ways to present a Keynote presentation on this type of platform without losing all of your sleek new graphics.

The most simple way to do this must be exporting your Keynote to a PowerPoint, right? Wrong. While Keynote certainly offers this option, PowerPoint doesn’t offer all of the same features that Keynote does. If you export your project to a PowerPoint, you might as well have used PowerPoint in the first place. Depending on the computer you’re viewing your presentation on, your fonts may change and your images won’t be formatted as nicely. You created a transparent background in Keynote? Nope, in PowerPoint that white background will return, and may cover up some text in the process.

The next best thing is to export your project to a PDF.

  1. At the top of your screen, choose File > Export.
  2. When the export box comes up, choose PDF at the top.
  3. Under options, you’ll see an option that says “print each stage of builds”. If you have used any sort of animation in your presentation, you should always check this option. Note: this is best if you use simple animations, because the PDF format will convert each step of the animation into a separate slide. If you don’t want to click 20 times to show the next slide, keep it simple.
  4. For image quality, always choose “best”. After all, why wouldn’t you want the best image quality?
  5. Save it as a PDF!

This wasn’t that hard, was it? PDFs can be opened on any operating system, making it an easy file type for sharing and presenting. Unfortunately, PDF files only consist of images of each slide, and it can be difficult to include any animation.

What can you do? Convert your Keynote presentation into a QuickTime video! QuickTime is compatible with both Mac and PC computers, and it won’t do anything funky to your fonts, images or animations. So how do you convert your .key to a .mov?

  1. Again, choose File > Export.
  2. When the export box comes up, choose QuickTime at the top.
  3. See where it says Playback Uses? You should always choose Manual Advance. This allows you to click through your slides just as you would if you were presenting directly from Keynote. If you don’t choose this option, QuickTime will play your slides at its own desired rate, which will confuse both you and your audience.
  4. Directly under Playback Uses is the option to enter full screen mode when the file is opened. I’m sure you’ll want to present in full screen mode anyway, so checking this box makes things easier on you.
  5. As far as the format goes, you should always save in Full Quality, Large for best results.
  6. Does your presentation include audio? Check the box next to ‘include audio’. What about images with transparent backgrounds? Check the box next to ‘include transparency’.
  7. Save it as a QuickTime file!

Is That It?

Sometimes, yes. Other times, no. Have no fear! The last step is incredibly simple. Some computers are pre-programmed to open .mov files in a program other than QuickTime. When this happens, that other program may play your presentation as a movie file without letting you click through at your own rate. In order to avoid this happening to you, right click on your file and choose Open With > QuickTime. This will ensure that your entire presentation will run smoothly.

Are you interested in creating beautiful presentations through Keynote? Udemy has a class that will help you get started. You’ll soon be wondering what took you so long to make the switch.

Page Last Updated: March 2014

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